Lawyers in Literature and Film; Harvey Specter
Ranker at www.ranker.com have an on-going list of greatest TV lawyers. It's a live list, so you can keep on going onto the list and voting for your favourite TV lawyer. Topping their list this week is Harvey Specter.
Suits as a series started in 2011, with season 6 currently screening on Dave and weekly at Amazon.co.uk for a price, so perhaps the fact that the handsome, witty and ever so debonair Harvey is topping the poll shouldn't be a surprise. TV audiences, especially internet users, are notoriously swayed by whatever is popular at the moment. He has the dab hand in witty comebacks, a bad-ass attitude and unsurprisingly good suits. And many a man wishes he could be Harvey.
So, what's his power?
Well, he knows people, for the most part. He knows that if he makes an offer, or refuses an offer the other side will do the most obvious thing, usually. He also knows when people are idiosyncratic enough to do the opposite. He knows who he can wind up (Louis Litt, I'm looking at you!) and who he needs to leave alone.
He knows himself. In season 1 he is so sure that he works best alone and, for the most part, he does. It's true that I couldn't see him getting on with any 'proper' Harvard graduate who had been trained in the right way. I think Mike (Mike Ross played by Patrick J Adams gets hired by mistake, despite never having been to law school) is enough of a maverick choice for Harvey to get along with. As he says to Donna (how I love that woman) when interviewing, "I'm looking for another me." and Mike is a younger, rougher version of Harvey, minus the Harvard degree.
He knows the rules. And by that, I don't mean he always breaks them or sticks to them. He knows when to do either. As he himself puts it, "When you're backed against the wall, break the goddamn thing down." He is a clever guy, who looks for different ways to deal with problems.
He knows how to use his body. No, not just to impress the ladies, although he does do that as well, but how to use the unspoken rules of communication to show everyone that He, Harvey Specter is the big dog. This article from The Science of People explains it best;
"When Harvey makes eye contact with others, he looks at their eyes and forehead. Sometimes, it looks like he’s not even looking at them at all, as though he’s not interested in them. In body language terms, this is called power gazing. By doing this, you let other people know that you mean business. For Harvey, this is his go-to way of looking at other people."
I could post loads of links to Pinterest full of Harvey quotes, cram this article with picture after picture of suave, elegant and ever so clever Harvey, but I won't.
I enjoy Suits; it's one of my guilty (not so guilty, now I'm working for a lawyer) pleasures. The cast work well together, and the plots have kept doing enough twisting and turning to keep a mountain bike rider happy. I'm working my way through the seasons on Netflix (up to 4!!) and I can highly recommend what I've seen so far. Would I vote for Harvey as my greatest TV lawyer? He's up there.... yes, he's definitely up there.....
(This is a guest post by the Office Ninja, Jo, at Peter Kneale Solicitor. All thoughts and commentaries are entirely her own.)